herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Airport hits new high as passenger numbers soar past 27 million

Kelly Anne Dooley pictured with kids James and Eabha and parents Tony and Corena at Dublin airport as the Christmas Commuting takes place
Kelly Anne Dooley pictured with kids James and Eabha and parents Tony and Corena at Dublin airport as the Christmas Commuting takes place

A staggering 83,000 passengers are expected to pass through Dublin airport on Friday as the countdown to Christmas continues.

The surge in the number of people jetting in for the festive season comes as the airport marked a new record.

It has handled more than 27 million passengers in 2016, a big increase on the 25 million handled last year.

With 11 working airport days left until the end of the year - it's closed on Christmas Day - the final passenger tally for 2016 will be even higher.

Sunshine

The next busiest day after Friday will be December 30 when holidaymakers head for the sunshine and the ski resorts.

Passengers using the airport this Christmas are being welcomed by more than 30 different groups, choirs and orchestras in the airport's largest festive music programme.

The programme, which started last Friday, will continue until Christmas Eve.

The airport has been benefiting from the economic recovery and from Dublin's relatively new role as a European secondary hub for travel to and from the US.

The pace of growth prompted the airport this year to push the button on a €320m plan to build a new runway and associated facilities.

The airport, which opened in 1940 as Collinstown Airport, has been setting new passenger records every month in 2016 and has been either the fastest or second- fastest growing large European airport for most of the year.

Transatlantic

"We've seen growth from most of our major airline customers and across most major market sectors," said airport managing director Vincent Harrison.

"European, British and transatlantic passenger numbers have all experienced double digit growth so far this year.

"Transfer passenger numbers are also up strongly and have passed the one million mark, as more and more people are choosing to connect at Dublin Airport."

Next year, more services will be added. Qatar Airways is launching a route between Dublin and Doha, while Aer Lingus will add a service to Miami.

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